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Community mourns loss of Mormon missionary

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“I remember one time we were just playing around at the theatre and he proposed to me,” said close friend Tani Quinton. “We always joked about that.”

To those who knew him, 23 year-old Joshua Allen Burton lived every day to its fullest.

Vehicles poured out of the LDS church’s parking lot Monday morning. Families, friends and community members gathering for the funeral service of the Cardston man.

Musician, actor and humanitarian, Burton had been serving as a Mormon missionary in Guatemala since 2011. He was on his way to help a local family move to safety when his vehicle overturned, breaking his back.

Burton underwent surgery but died three days later.

“I just want people to remember him for what he did because what he did was big. I mean he was everywhere, he did everything,” said friend Joshua Scout-Bastien.

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A regular player in Cardston Community Theatre as well as Carriage House Theatre Productions, Burton had a passion for music. He had even released an album of his own original music, a goal he had been determined to reach before leaving on his mission.

“He had the greatest laugh. He was just lots of fun to be around,” said Quinton

Burton’s friends and family say while he was recognized for his musical talent, it was his contagious energy and optimism that had hundreds gathering in the community Monday morning to honour his memory.